"The Effects of Treatment Compliance on Outcome in Congnitive-Behavioral Therapy for Panic Disorder: Quality Versus Quantity"

Essay by bpuffn21University, Bachelor's December 2002

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In this study, both quality and quantity of home-based practice were assessed to better evaluate the effects of treatment compliance in patients with panic disorder who participated in a 12 session CBT protocol. CBT which stands for cognitive-behavioral therapy, is skill based and assumes active patient participation in regard to treatment-related assignments. Many CBT outcome studies of depression and anxiety indicate that compliance is significantly related to treatment outcome, although a similar number do not show the predicted relationship.

To do this research, there was an academic center which specialized in the assessment and treatment of anxiety disorders and met the study criteria. The criteria was (a) principal Axis I diagnosis of panic disorder with or without agoraphobia; (b) no change in medication type or dose during the 12 weeks prior to treatment; (c) never attempted suicide; (d) no substance abuse; and (e) no evidence of schizophrenia, or mental disorders.

Their treatments consisted of 12 sessions over a 12 week period. At the end of each session, patients were assigned one or more homework tasks on the basis of the types of skills covered during the session.

After the treatment, many findings emerged. Tests indicated significant improvement on all measures. They examined the clinical significance of the treatment findings by evaluating the composite recovery index that represents a conservative estimate of recovery form panic disorder. The recovery rate at post treatment was 94% for panic attacks, 83% for anxiety, and 71% for phobic avoidance.

In conclusion, this was a very beneficial experiment. Although formal medication analyses could not be conducted in this study, findings from this study are consistent with the idea that homework compliance may be an important factor in determining response to treatment. As far as we can determine, this is the first study to assess the...